Unica is the largest independent all-round technical service provider in the Netherlands, with extensive expertise in energy, security, information and communications technology (ICT), working environments and installation technology. It has 14 branches in the Netherlands, along with three regional project companies and 10 specialised companies.
More than 2,000 Unica employees are committed to solving customer issues – of which there are hundreds every day. Managing all these requests efficiently was becoming a challenge and as Unica is a company dedicated to providing high-quality customer service, there was a need to ensure this wasn’t compromised by outdated manual systems.
Unica had set up an efficient central service desk acting as a single point of contact to receive and respond to all customer reports. It turned to low-code and no-code solutions expert CLEVR to support it in developing a workflow-driven application to structure and organise its daily work.
In developing a solution, CLEVR faced numerous challenges.
The hundreds of new customer reports that Unica receives every day come from various channels, such as phone, email, Unica’s online customer portal and directly from the installations themselves via Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. The reports range from malfunction notifications to quotations, order confirmations, and status and information requests.
In the past, dedicated service coordinators on the service desk received these reports at various Unica locations. Determining the urgency of a fault report and the correct response is a complex task due to the pure volume of reports received, combined with various customer agreements, including response times, recovery times (that is, visiting, investigating the issue and making emergency provisions) and resolution times.
The service coordinators are responsible for planning all types of work, including repairing breakdowns, inspections, modifications and regular maintenance, as well as undertaking calculations and quotations. As customer experience is a priority for Unica, it wanted to free its service coordinators from unnecessary tasks so they could focus on more important ones.
Lack of automation made the existing process even more complex as there was no set workflow pattern. When a report was received all the information remained with the relevant service coordinator. If anyone else wanted to know about it, they had to search for it actively, meaning lists with special reports had to be repeatedly reassessed until a task was picked up.
This was a huge issue as the correct logging of a report is crucial for an efficient follow-up. Centrally available information about the history and status of an issue is essential.
Complications in the past included the same malfunction being reported by several customers or on various channels – with the risk that a follow-up could be duplicated. In other cases, the corrected problem might reoccur the next day, producing a new report. In this case, a follow-up did need to be arranged. Each situation requires a different approach and expertise, and CLEVR had to consider all these challenges in creating a suitable application for a centrally organised service desk.
From the start of the project, CLEVR’s extensive experience was a vital asset and the two companies worked well together, combining their respective expertise.
CLEVR’s use of rapid-development platform Mendix meant Unica could benefit from speed and flexibility when it came to creating a workflow-driven application to structure and organise daily work for a service desk coordinating more than 2,000 employees, including documenting all reports uniformly in the new system. CLEVR’s domain knowledge and vision for the future, and the easy working relationship between the two companies, helped ensure the project’s success.
“From the start, it was clear that CLEVR’s extensive experience would enrich our team. We know exactly what it takes to solve a malfunction in the best way and CLEVR knows how to translate this perfectly into an IT solution”
Tom Geurts, IT project leader, Unica